Astronomer Clifford Stoll helped to capture a notorious KGB hacker back in the infancy of the Internet. His agile mind continues to lead him down new paths — from education and techno-skepticism to the making of zero-volume bottles.

Why you should listen

When Clifford Stoll speaks, you can't help but listen. Full of restless energy, he jumps from one topic to the next, darting back and forth across the stage. You may not be sure where he's going, but the ride is always part of the adventure.

An astronomer (though his astronomy career took a turn when he noticed a bookkeeping error that ultimately led him to track down a notorious hacker), researcher and internationally recognized computer security expert -- who happens to be a vocal critic of technology -- Stoll makes a sharp, witty case for keeping computers out of the classroom. Currently teaching college-level physics to eighth graders at a local school, he stays busy in his spare time building Klein bottles.

What others say

“Clifford Stoll is making a cottage industry out of being gadfly to a technology-obsessed world” — New York Times

Clifford Stoll’s TED talk

Clifford Stoll on the TED Blog

Education

18 minutes with an agile mind: Clifford Stoll on TED.com

March 27, 2008

Clifford Stoll could talk about the atmosphere of Jupiter. Or hunting KGB hackers. Or Klein bottles, computers in classrooms, the future. But he’s not going to. Which is fine, because it would be criminal to confine a man with interests as multifarious as Stoll’s to give a talk on any one topic. Instead, he simply […]

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Quotes from Clifford Stoll

If you really want to know about the future, don’t ask a technologist, a scientist, a physicist. No! Don’t ask somebody who’s writing code. No, if you want to know what society’s going to be like in 20 years, ask a kindergarten teacher.
Clifford Stoll
TED2006 • 1.9M views Mar 2008
Funny, Inspiring
What’s society going to be like when the kids today are phenomenally good at text messaging and spend a huge amount of on-screen time, but have never gone bowling together?
Clifford Stoll
TED2006 • 1.9M views Mar 2008
Funny, Inspiring
All truth is one. In this light, may science and religion endeavor here for the steady evolution of mankind, from darkness to light, from narrowness to broad-mindedness, from prejudice to tolerance. It is the voice of life, which calls us to come and learn.
Clifford Stoll
TED2006 • 1.9M views Mar 2008
Funny, Inspiring